Employment law now is mostly implemented either on 1st April or 1st October. This time around, we only have the National Minimum Wage increase coming into force tomorrow. Make the most of it – things are likely to get pretty busy with changes in a couple of years, depending on the EU negotiations!

New rates are:

Apprentice Rate: increase from £3.30 to £3.40 per hour
Age 16-17: increase from £3.87 to £4.00 per hour
Age 18-20: remains at £5.30 per hour
Age 21-24: increase from £6.70 to £6.95 per hour
Age 25 : remains at £7.20 per hour

For budgeting purposes, you should note that:
– in future, with effect from next year National Minimum Wage reviews for all age groups will be effective from 1st April rather than October
– the review panel are trying to balance the perceived lack of fairness in the difference between the age 21-24 age group and the age 25 age group with a commitment not to impact jobs for the under 25 age group… so expect continued increases to make sure the gap doesn’t widen

Please keep in mind that whilst it is perfectly legal to make legitimate redundancies due to cost increases, what you can’t do is dismiss someone at age 25 to replace them with a younger, cheaper employee in essentially the same job. That’s not a tribunal claim I’d be likely to successfully defend!! Please do give me a shout if you need to look at making changes as a result of increasing wage costs.